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Government frames new rules for online news, social media

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Amidst growing concerns around lack of transparency, accountability

The union government on Thursday announced new rules for  regulating digital content to have a harmonious, soft-touch oversight mechanism in relation to social media platform as well as digital media and OTT platforms. 

The rules will establish a soft-touch self-regulatory architecture and a Code of Ethics and three-tier grievance redressal mechanism for news publishers and OTT Platforms and digital media .

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It further reads that while finalizing these Rules, both the Ministries of Electronics and Information Technology and Ministry of Information and Broadcasting undertook elaborate consultations among themselves in order to have a harmonious, soft-touch oversight mechanism in relation to social media platform as well as digital media and OTT platforms etc.

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It reads that Part- II of these Rules shall be administered by Ministry of Electronics and IT, while Part-III relating to Code of Ethics and procedure and safeguards in relation to digital media shall be administered by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting

As per the statement, the new Rules empower ordinary users of social media, embodying a mechanism for redressal and timely resolution of their grievance. 

“Rules about digital media and OTT focuses more on in-house and self-regulation mechanism whereby a robust grievance redressal mechanism has been provided while upholding journalistic and creative freedom. The proposed framework is progressive, liberal and contemporaneous.”

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As per the statement, it seeks to address peoples’ varied concerns while removing any misapprehension about curbing creativity and freedom of speech and expression. 

The guidelines have been framed keeping in mind the difference between viewership in a theatre and television as compared to watching it on the Internet.

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